Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trustee Reports on Outbreak Victims' Payments

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

The trustee overseeing a national settlement fund for victims of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak says 2,026 patients have now been fully or partially approved for payment.
Lynne F. Riley filed the report today in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass. She reported that a total of $85.77 million has been approved for distribution and initial checks have been sent out for 1,711 claimants.
The settlement fund was created under the bankruptcy of the New England Compounding Center, the company blamed for the deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.
According to federal court records, 76 patients died after being injected with fungus tainted steroids shipped from MECC's Framingham, Mass. headquarters. A total of 758 patients were sickened, many of them suffering fungal meningitis.
Riley's report was filed in advance of a hearing tomorrow before U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel, who has been overseeing the hundreds of civil cases stemming from the outbreak.
Her reports states that 2,352 claims were filed with Epiq, the company hired to process claims. She said 284 claims were finally denied.
In addition to the 1,711 checks mailed to victims from the national settlement fund, Riley reported that checks were mailed for 214 victims who filed claims against the health providers who injected them with the fungus laden steroids.
Victims are expected to get a second check approximately equal to the initial payment and Riley said those second payments are expected to be issued in about 45 days.
In prior reports she also stated that a third set of payments is likely to be issued depending on anticipated tax refunds that are earmarked for the national settlement fund.

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